Wes Anderson, I love you

I am obsessed with Wes Anderson films. His movies have an astonishing level of attention to detail and brilliant sense of design. He attacks design on so many different levels to make his films as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Scene still from "The Grand Budapest Hotel"(Credit: Martin Scali)

Scene still from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”(Credit: Martin Scali)

The first, most obvious design elements are the costume and set design. Always beautiful and flawlessly uniform, anyone watching one of his films will absolutely notice this. They’re whimsical and colorful, setting the tone for his playful stories.

Screenshots of Futura used in the signage in the movie backgrounds.

Screenshots of Futura used in the signage in the movie backgrounds.

Next, the details I gush over, the careful graphic design throughout. He loves using Futura (the font I use on this site); he had Jessica Hische create the typeface for Moonrise Kingdom. Annie Atkins got every designer’s dream job as the graphic designer for The Grand Budapest Hotel where she created every document, sign or prop with insanely beautiful detail. Basically Wes Anderson takes the time and consideration to make sure the little props add to the movie rather than merely passing as part of the made-up world.

The last, least obvious level is in concepts such as camera angles and symmetry. In particular symmetry is one of his trademarks, but wow, when I saw how frequently he really uses it I was blown away. The reason this doesn’t seem repetitive or overused in his films that that humans want to see symmetry since we ourselves are symmetrical. It makes the shot feel more stable and easily creates a hierarchy of information on the screen.

In regards to design alone, Wes Anderson films are each a masterpiece. My top three must-see films by him are 1. The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2. Moonrise Kingdom, and 3. The Royal Tenenbaums. But honestly, you can’t go wrong, even his commercials are cool.

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